Mountain Snowberry (Gaultheria depressa)

Shrub
G. antipoda depressa.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Mountain Snowberry
Gaultheria depressa
Ericaceae

A ground-cover for areas in sun or light shade.

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and juicy but apt to become rather dry later in the season[173]. The fruit is about 8 – 15mm in diameter[200].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

The seed requires a period of cold stratification. Pre-chill for 4 – 10 weeks and then surface sow in a lime-free compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep the compost moist[78]. The seed usually germinates well, usually within 1 – 2 months at 20¡c, but the seedlings are liable to damp off. It is important to water them with care and to ensure that they get plenty of ventilation. Watering them with a garlic infusion can also help to prevent damping of[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are about 25mm tall and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter[K]. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. The seedlings are susceptible to spring frosts so might need some protection for their first few years outdoors. The leaves remain very small for the first few years[11]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 3 – 6cm long, July/August in a frame in a shady position. They form roots in late summer or spring[78]. A good percentage usually take. Division in spring just before new growth begins[200]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Layering.
Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in sun or semi-shade[11]. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[11]. Plants are not very hardy in Britain[200] and tend to be short-lived in cultivation[11]. The plant can make a good nesting place for mice, these mice then eat the bark of the stems in winter causing die-back. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Australia – Tasmania, to New Zealand.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.